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The Challenges of "Re-engaging with Food": Connecting Employment, Household Patterns and Gender Relations to Convenience Food Consumption in North America

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As the negative health, environmental and social consequences of the industrial food system are brought to light, convenience food options are being criticized and "re-engagement" with food celebrated. Indeed, there are many benefits when households are more involved in their own food provision, doing things such as growing food and cooking from scratch. However, calls for a return to more labor and time-intensive food practices often overlook the difficulties that food providers face in trying to manage both paid and unpaid work in the context of contemporary employment and household patterns. This paper brings light to these under-examined issues by putting the feminist concept of social reproduction into dialogue with the food literature. It is argued that significant and widespread changes in food provision at the household level cannot take place unless employment conditions and the gendered division of labor are addressed.
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